The Heart of L'Arche Paperback
A Spirituality for Every Day
by Jean Vanier;
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A Bird's Eye View from Eden
Jean Vanier looks back at 50 years of the spirituality of L'Arche
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The Heart of L'Arche
Full Product Description
‘The Heart of L’Arche’, by the founder of the international spiritual organisation, ‘L’Arche’, has been revolutionary in changing our understanding of intellectual disabilities. This important book is the blue-print to a better understanding of spiritual wholeness, which embraces our own fragility and need for real community.
Back in 1964, Jean Vanier founder L’Arche - an ecumenical and international federation dedicated to the creation of homes, communities, day programmes and support networks for people with learning disabilities. As a result, this organisation now operates in 40 countries across the globe, working for and with the disabled.
With the wealth of 47 year under his belt, Jean describes the spirituality behind his movement. In his mind the disabled are the key to our transformation and liberation. Our society should not view people as a burden, neither should they be ignored. Instead the vulnerability of others should reveal our own, creating relationship and community.
The Heart of L'Arche by Jean Vanier was published by SPCK in January 2013 and is our 7435th best seller. The ISBN for The Heart of L'Arche is 9780281069910.
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The Heart of L'ArcheJackie Rowe, via The Good Book Stall
Nearly 50 years ago, Jean Vanier, encouraged by Dominican Father Thomas Philippe, founded L'Arche. It is now a worldwide federation of homes, communities, day programmes and support networks for people with learning disabilities. Back in 1964, however, Jean began to share his life with just two men with intellectual disabilities and so began the journey that transformed his life. As he opened his heart to these men, and cared for them, he learned a lot about the gospel and the life and person of Jesus. He says, looking back over the years "L'Arche has been for me a school of love."
His purpose in writing this little book is to convey the spirituality or the "deeper meaning" behind the life of the L'Arche communities. They are not just good places for people with disabilities to live, but places where all can grow together in a spirituality of love and mutual self-giving, inspired by Jesus and the love of God. I found it 'easy' to read in one sense, but often I needed to stop and really chew over some of his more challenging statements. Out of the depths of his heart and his own life-long experience he challenges us to live the life of faith, trusting in God as we live counter-culturally for him. There are so many nuggets of wisdom that I could share, but I will finish with one from his chapter entitled 'A spirituality centred in the mystery of the poor'. He writes: "L'Arche's spirituality is not chiefly about doing things for the poor, but about listening to them, welcoming them and living with them to help them discover the meaning and purpose of their lives. This relationship is a covenant - a relationship of fidelity rooted in Jesus' fidelity to the poor."
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In a world where people with disabilities are often ignored or seen as a burden on society, Jean reveals the spirit that keeps his dream flourishing. He shows how a life shared with people who have intellectual disabilities calls us to recognize our own fragility and need for each other. The vulnerability that is so much a part of their experience reveals our own, and invites us into relationship, transformation and liberation.
Details for The Heart of L'Arche
|Author / Artist||Jean Vanier|
|Publisher||SPCK (January 2013)|
|Number of Pages||96|
|Page last updated||3rd March 2018|